KDPS arrests 20 as part of ‘X-Train’ takedown

Kalamazoo, X-Train
Broken glass apparently left behind by the so-called "X-Train" in Kalamazoo. (April 23, 2017)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo police say they arrested 20 people Saturday on numerous charges as a way of addressing a form of cruising known as the “X-Train.”

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety says the suspects were arrested on a total of 22 criminal charges, including misdemeanor traffic offenses, fleeing and eluding, operating while intoxicated, possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of cocaine, and resisting and obstructing. Seven warrant arrests were also made. Ten vehicles that were participating in the “X-Train” were impounded.

“X-Trains” are long lines of cars that cruise the streets in the early morning hours, playing loud music and disturbing the peace. The “X” comes from the drug ecstasy, investigators explained.

The group has disturbed the peace for more than seven years in different areas of the city, residents say. Typically, the group rides around during the weekends when the weather is nice, but this year has been different.

“It’s gone on all winter and we only envision that with the advent of warmer weather that the activity would escalate, which it has,” resident Marian Pridgeon told 24 Hour News 8 on Sunday.

She and her husband, Jim Pridgeon, have spoken out at city commission meetings and with KDPS Chief Jeff Hadley in hopes of stopping the group from waking residents in the middle of the night.

“When you have upwards to 100 cars and they’re all doing the same thing, then it gets to be a major problem and we really appreciate public safety doing their thing,” Jim Pridgeon said.

The X-Train has been tied to two deadly shootings. In March 2011, Tommy Emory was convicted of second-degree murder for killing two people outside his home who investigators reported to be riding in X-Train cars before the altercation.

The 2011 shooting death of 39-year-old Tiffany Ayers is also tied to the group. Ayers was shot in the area of Westnedge Avenue and Florence. Police confirm she may have been riding in an X-Train before being killed.

Kalamazoo County sheriff’s deputies and Michigan State Police assisted KDPS officers in making the Saturday arrests. The suspects are expected to be arraigned Monday.

KDPS says officers will continue to patrol neighborhoods to curb similar activity.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at 269.337.8994 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.